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Three medals for Canada at ISU Grand Prix Final

NAGOYA, Japan – Canadians won three medals on Saturday at the ISU Grand Prix Final, the last major international figure skating event before the Olympic Winter Games in February.

Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir took the silver in ice dancing while Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford added a bronze in pairs and Kaetlyn Osmond was also third in women’s competition.

In ice dancing, Virtue and Moir lost for the first time since their return to competition last season.

Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron of France won the gold with 202.16 points. Virtue and Moir followed at 199.86 and Maia Shibutani and Alex Shibutani of the U.S. were third at 188.00.

‘’We made a couple of uncharacteristic glitches that we don’t even make in training that often,’’ said Moir, from Ilderton, Ont. ‘’We don’t like not winning competitions but in the grand scheme of things it was still a performance we were proud of.’’

The three-time world champions are pleased with their progress towards the Olympics.

‘’We’re on track,’’ said Virtue, from London, Ont. ‘’We’ve had an extremely successful season and we just have to continue taking care of the little details and making the tweaks so our programs are at their best come February.’’

In women’s competition, Osmond made a couple of mistakes in her Black Swan skate including a fall on her triple Salchow to drop from first after the short program to third with 215.16 points.

‘’The mistakes that I made were silly ones and they won’t happen again,’’ said Osmond, from Marystown, N.L. ‘’I made a lot of changes to my program since my last competition and I did those well.’’

It was a 1-2 Russian finish with Alina Zagitova first at 223.30 and Maria Sotskova second at 216.28.

In pairs, it was a comeback medal for Duhamel and Radford who climbed from fifth place after the short program to the medal position earning 210.83. Aljona Savchenko and Bruno Massot of Germany were first at 236.68 and world champions Wenjing Sui and Cong Han second at 230.89.

‘’We took a nice step here and continued to build,’’ said Radford. ‘’We want to take another step up at the national championships (in January) get some more levels and hit that big peak at the Olympic Games.’’

In junior ice dancing, Marjorie Lajoie of Boucherville, Que., and Zachary Lagha of Greenfield Park, Que., were sixth.

‘’It was a nice experience,’’ said Lagha. ‘’It was cool to skate at a big event like that.’’

Full results: Grand Prix Final 2017 Senior and Junior

Kaetlyn Osmond tops women’s short program at ISU Grand Prix Final

NAGOYA, Japan – Canada’s Kaetlyn Osmond produced a flawless short program in women’s competition Friday to stand in first place at the ISU Grand Prix Final figure skating event.

The 22-year-old from Marystown, N.L., wowed the crowd landing with ease her triple-triple combination, triple Lutz and double Axel. She earned an international personal best 77.04 points.

‘’It felt really good and I felt really controlled,’’ said Osmond, the world championship silver medallist last season. ‘’I wasn’t happy with how my short program went at the Grand Prix in France and I didn’t want that to happen here.’’

Alina Zagitova of Russia is second at 76.27 and Satoko Miyahara of Japan third at 74.61.

In junior ice dancing, Marjorie Lajoie of Boucherville, Que., and Zachary Lagha of Greenfield Park, Que., are in fourth place after the short dance with 60.52 points. The couple won gold and silver this season on the circuit.

‘’It’s a gift for us to be here for the good beginning to the season,’’ said Lagha. ‘’We’re just happy to be here and we want to gain some valuable experience and please the crowd.’’

Anastasia Skoptcova and Kirill Aleshin of Russia lead at 65.87. Christina Carreira and Anthony Ponomarenko of the U.S. are second at 64.10 and Sofia Polishchuk and Alexander Vakhnov of Russia third at 63.17.

A reminder that after Thursday’s short programs for Canadians, Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir are second in ice dancing and Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford are fifth in pairs.

The free skates for the Canadian entries are on Saturday.

Full results: http://www.isuresults.com/results/season1718/gpf1718/